The Crusader Online

November 16, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 10

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Community service program creates opportunities for all

emselves and their communities have many options to choose from, but one has stood out from the rest: AmeriCorps. The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is an organization that promotes team community service nationwide.

This service allows participants to use their skills and knowledge to make a difference on the lives of others as well as learning a great deal about themselves. The array of different things one can accomplish through the AmeriCorps is quite amazing One week could be dedicated to giving a child someone to look up to and the next could be rebuilding homes wrecked by storms.

The "Domestic Peace Corps," as AmeriCorps is frequently referred to as, is much like the Peace Corps due to their shared commitment of community service. The main difference is the Peace Corps is international, and AmeriCorps is within the United States. The usual term for an AmeriCorps volunteer is about 10 months. Some members will choose more than one term of service.

Cymone Fourshey, faculty coordinator for post-graduate advising, said, "Whether you are tutoring kids, building homes, clearing trails, or helping to start a local health clinic, you will see the results of your work."

Having an immediate impact on those you are helping is only one of the benefits of working with AmeriCorps. Those who successfully complete a term will be eligible for an award, which is put towards expenses from higher education institutions.

To join the NCCC, you must be between the ages of 18 and 24 with documentation of U.S. citizenship or residence. The teams are made up of diverse people. To join AmeriCorps, the first step would be to go to their website, AmeriCorps.gov, and research to make sure it's what you're looking for.

Some areas require specific skill sets, such as a bachelor's degree, job experience or volunteer hours. The overarching requirement is a great motivation to help communities all over the U.S. AmeriCorps has numerous campuses to cater to wherever people are coming from to join. The closest NCCC campus to Susquehanna is Perry Point, Md.

"The fall of senior year is the best time to apply. It allows for a lower pressure postgraduate year while still engaging in skill development," Fourshey said. Joining AmeriCorps is a life changing event and not only leaves you with valuable experience, but helps communities nationwide. For those who wish to broaden their horizons post-grad, this would be a great place to start.

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